Behind Neil Lennon there is one man that is ultimately responsible for where Celtic stand, probably slumped, this morning.
The manager picks the team, selects the tactics and faces the media before and after every match.
Watching three successive, draining defeats from behind his mask is Peter Lawwell, the powerbroker at Celtic Park until things get so out of hand Dermot Desmond is forced into action.
In 17 years at Celtic Lawwell has grown his powerbase, it is a ridiculous timespan for the CEO of a PLC, he has effectively been involved in every significant appointment behind the scenes.
The last time that Celtic were in this situation was in April 2016 when Desmond watched a feeble Scottish Cup semi-final defeat at Hampden. After a month of uninspiring due diligence from his CEO he stepped in, appointed Brendan Rodgers and every area of the playing side was transformed.
With Tony Mowbray and Ronny Deila on his crime sheet Lawwell initially took a back seat but by the summer of 2018 the fault lines were blown open by the John McGinn saga with Dedryck Boyata and Moussa Dembele running in tandem.
Fortunately when Rodgers exited Lennon was on Celtic’s doorstep and available. It was incredible fortune, the perfect caretaker to complete the season.
Last season Lennon showed his managerial strength from the turn of the year but the post Lockdown period has been a complete disaster, one that a competent CEO should have been all over. Warning signs and red flags were everywhere, as was executive complacency.
Only a replacement goalkeeper had been brought in for the Champions League qualifier against Ferencvaros with the outcome similar to the visits of Cluj and Copenhagen.
After losing out of a possible £30m Lennon spoke out about players not wanting to be here. Again a competent CEO should have stepped in, it wouldn’t be meddling but it was negligent not to deal with that issue decisively.
The players that want away and the manager reluctantly working with them have taken Celtic to three successive home defeats. Each one humiliating in its own way, a lack of pattern, purpose, spirit and apparently interest.
On Sunday Celtic could be trailing by double figures in the SPFL, if that is avoided at Motherwell it could happen a fortnight later away to Hibs.
Lawwell’s decision to remove Lennon is a reflection on his own judgement. If he isn’t prepared to make that big call then an equally big call has to be made on his own position.
Got to feel for the @CelticFC ST holders. Pay £600, knowing they’ll likely not get to a game, to help the club clinch the 10 but are subjected to this garbage. Lawwell and the rest of the board should hang their heads in shame at this farce that is a “team”
— Tam McKendrick (@tam_ekp70) November 5, 2020
As tactically clueless today as first time around. The common denominator in his two stints is a control freak in Lawwell (encompassing Roadshows and Showers) and a disinterested Desmond. From the professionalism of Rodgers to this unfit, untrained, unmanaged amateur shitshow.
— John G ?? (@TicV67) November 6, 2020
Lawwell has too much control, likes a yes man manager which is why I worry for the next choice we all know the drill by now..
— Gerard Ward (@G3WRD) November 5, 2020
They don’t care what we think there isn’t a football man amongst them they are only interested in business Lawwell always wants a yes man in charge Deila was being lined up as Lennon’s assistant but Lennon announced he was leaving and when they couldn’t find a replacement
— John McGuire (@Magwa_1888) November 5, 2020
He doesn’t want to be there. Lawwell you are one sick guy putting Lennon through this. Put him out of his misery and relieve him of his duties. Lawwell can go at end of season.
— Wild Rover (@WildRov92904329) November 5, 2020
Lenny should do the right thing here rather than jeopardise the 10. Lawwell will not fire Lenny after his idiotic CV comment as he would be admitting he fkd up. So, Dermot over to you……..
— Frazr_SoarAlba (@soaralba19) November 5, 2020
I also backed him and really thought that he could turn this around. This is too deeply broken and Peter Lawwell and the board has a decision to make. This is unfixable unfortunately.
— Enigmaticbhoy (@enigmaticbhoy) November 5, 2020
I’m watching the American elections to take my mind off the Celtic game .
Lawwell taking the easy route has cost us again and as a club we will not progress until he has gone
— colum mccann (@mccanio) November 5, 2020
Lennon has lost the team and the fans. There’s no way back now. The longer it goes on the worse this will be. DD needs to act now although I dont have faith in them making the right appointment. Especially if lawwell has any say in it.
— Hoohimthetim™ (@hoohimthetim) November 5, 2020
Fans who think @CelticFC will replace Lennon with a big name manager are deluded. Lawwell/Desmond clearly don’t care about the Club or else they would have had a proper selection process when they appointed Lennon! We will go for the cheap option! We’ve been taken for mugs!
— ?????? ? (@7govscott) November 5, 2020
Lawwell big part of problem Stephen he thought we were hoing to get a mega bid for eddy…we should have thrown the business plan out the window this season.. we’ve been crying out for decent centre defenders before Rodgers..yet ..
— lala (@hanlon_l) November 5, 2020